Luffas

Hi,
I am growing 2 luffa plants in Corfu and they are almost ready to start to pick the Luffas. They have about 9 luffas growing (one is about 60cm long and ranging down to about 10cm).
I have a mission of what I would like to do: 1) collect the seads for next year 2) and make some sponges.
My problem is when is the best time to pick the luffas for the seads, i.e. should I leave it to mature and dry on the plant (but then the sponge will be like wire wool, so I have read) or is it OK to pick them a little bit early (still green) and hang to dry.
And what is the best method you think to dry and make sponges.
Kind Regards Stephen http://www.corfunet.com
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